After my previous blog post about life as a witch, more people wrote to me with questions they have. It was more than enough to warrant another blog post and I actually quite enjoy curiosity of others, so here we are this Saturday morning.
Again (if you read the previous post) these views are solely mine and don’t necessarily reflect the views of other witches.
How do you stay safe?
Aside from the typical ways of staying safe (not walking alone at night, carrying pepper spray, etc) I do use certain magical measures to stay safe. I keep rosemary by my main door and I often keep snowflake obsidian and tigers eye with me, as well as moonstone for safe travels. I also utilize energetic shields for myself and my property, and leave offerings for my ancestors and other guardian spirits.
Do you like movie portrayals (which ones)?
Yes! I like most movie portrayals, I think they’re really fun, I enjoy the creativity involved and I don’t take myself so seriously as to get offended. I enjoy even the portrayals that show witches as evil. Witches have a deep cultural history and significance, so the many stories can be a wonderful gateway to seeking more knowledge.
My favorite movie portrayals are Practical Magic, The Witches, Hocus Pocus (Bette Midler! And the costumes! 😍), and The Craft.
In terms of television portrayals I love Willow from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I also love Catherine Bell in the hallmark show/movies The Good Witch because of the portrayal of her vast knowledge of the healing effects of herbs (among other things) and the way she always helps others.
There are some portrayals I didn’t like at all. I watched “The Witches of East End” and hated it specifically because the witches ignored their intuitions and better judgment consistently and made really stupid mistakes as a result. It was painful to watch. Also, in The Wizard of Oz I find Glinda the Good Witch to be way worse than the wicked witch. Glinda was absolutely diabolical in manipulating Dorothy into doing her dirty work because she wanted what her sister had.
What are misconceptions (i.e. crooked nose, infighting between witches, etc.) Brooms?
Most misconceptions regarding the way witches look have petered out over time especially with the popularization of Wicca. Even in television you don’t see the crooked nose, green/warty skin, etc anymore for the most part.
Brooms are in fact magical tools, but not for flying. It is common for a witch to make her own broom (called a besom) to cleanse magical space and sweep away negative energy, and for protection depending upon how it is placed in the home.
Infighting between witches can happen the same way it happens among all kinds of people. Because witchcraft doesn’t have dogma attached to it and this path is very individualized, fights are somewhat rare over belief or practice, and any witches who don’t get along usually don’t get along based on personality differences. This doesn’t mean that magical battles don’t happen. Sometimes witches do attack each other with magic.
The most prevalent misconception about witches and witchcraft is the belief that witches work with Satan or evil powers. Many witches don’t even believe that there are any malevolent entities (I disagree with this personally). There is a lot of mystery around the craft and superstition abounds as a result.
A lot of witches who work with deities honor the horned god (Cernunnos or Pan) for his original attributes and mythology, which can cause confusion for those who don’t know the origins and only see him through the lens of Christian devil symbolism. Like many pagan gods, with the spread of Christianity, Pan was demoted to demon.
Another aspect I want to touch on in response to this question is history. Female healers who served goddess deities were the original, real witches. They delivered babies, cured diseases, dealt with infertility and impotence within the community, were trained in the sacred mysteries and honored as wise women, often providing counsel to kings. These original human witches were seen in an overwhelmingly positive light.
Some scholars maintain that warrior cultures with aggressive gods that expanded westward lead to the original suppression of female deities and females as a result. Some point to the Hebrews and the male-centric view of creation and god as the beginning of the suppression of women.
The fear of witches is historically related to superstition, which was the springboard of the oppression, hatred toward, and persecution of women.
The Malleus Maleficarum is a heavily misogynistic witch hunter manual written by a celibate Catholic monk. This book was the best seller second only to the Bible for a long time, and in it the author demonized the nature of women specifically as evil. This book was used to “sniff out witches” for over 200 years and was the tome advising the mass torture and murder of (mostly) women in the European Witch Trials.
This book sat next to the Bible for ages in secular court rooms (as it contained “legal proceedings” for dealing with witches) and it’s pervasive effects continue to this day in the often unconscious and subtle mistrust of women and the ways in which women are continuously discounted and suppressed.
When did you first realize?
I was around 9 years old.
What is the purpose of your favorite spell (or are spells real)?
The most memorable and powerful spell I ever did was for emotional healing at an overwhelming time in my life.
How are you affected by herbs and things people do to ward off witches (garlic, etc.)?
I’m not affected by these things (and I love garlic). It’s likely I’m not affected because I don’t intend harm to people.
Can you be a Christian and a witch?
This will depend on who you ask. There are witches who claim Christianity and if they say they are a Christian Witch I accept that.
There are Christians who claim witchcraft is antithetical to Christianity and therefore, a person can’t be both. This very much depends on your view. I would say yes, you can be a Christian and a witch, but this is based on my own view that believing in Jesus is all it takes to make you a Christian.
Can you affect people without them realizing (how/why not)?
I don’t consider this question to be outside the realm of regular human dealings. We all have the capacity to affect others without them realizing it. Usually the people who do that are skilled manipulators. Magically speaking, yes, I could affect someone without them realizing it.
If given a choice of coven practice would you? Strictly solitary?
I’m a solitary practitioner. I would have to deeply know every single person and be entirely comfortable with their energy before I would practice magic with them. I would attend celebratory gatherings where I don’t know other witches well, though.
What is one thing about being a witch you wish the wider community would know?
Since I already covered the “we aren’t typically evil” thing, I would like people to know that witchcraft is a legitimate life path and spiritual practice, it is nature-focused and a path of connection. Everything I do, all the services I offer, are to benefit individuals and the greater community.